Changing Habits, Changing Lives

The other day I went to a health seminar to hear Cyndi O’Meara speak on nutrition (and help out with the food, which was prepared in Thermomix machines)… Cyndi is a nutritionist, and author of “Changing Habits, Changing Lives,” (as well as the cookbook of the same name). She is passionate about raising awareness of what’s in the foods we eat, what the food industry is not telling us, why ‘low-fat’ is not all it’s cracked up to be, and the vital importance of returning to basic, wholesome foods. If you haven’t read her book, I highly recommend it! And I think I’m going to have to add her cookbook to my ‘favourite cookbooks’ list!

I love Cyndi’s emphasis on eating foods as God created them, and avoiding the foods that man has altered beyond recognition. Eat real butter, not margarine. Eat real sugar (such as Rapadura), and not fake chemical sweeteners. Eat real sea salt, not refined salt. Eat wholegrain flours (freshly ground if possible), not refined flour. Eat cold-pressed oils, not hydrogenated fats. It’s simple, and it makes sense. (And it tastes better too!)

I also love her emphasis on the preciousness of time with family and friends. I’ve always been a firm believer in eating meals as a family – meal times should be a special time together, even if you’re only eating leftovers or sandwiches. Our attitudes and emotions affect our health as much as our food does, so when you sit down to eat, relax and enjoy the time with your family and friends! As the Bible says so wisely, “Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a fatted ox with hatred.” (Proverbs 15:17).
Here’s a couple of quotes from Cyndi’s recipe book (which is not just a recipe book, but also a lifestyle and information book):

“A family meal nourishes the body and soul, unites a family and defines love.”

“We lead such hectic lives, caught up in gaining material wealth while sacrificing precious time with family and friends. A meal together can begin to heal family rifts and relationships. A healthy meal not only heals the body but the soul also benefits greatly.”

“Responsibility for our health is in our own hands. Too often we do all the wrong things, like not eating properly, not exercising, not taking time off work, smoking a little and perhaps having a little too much to drink, and then when we gt sick we go to the doctor and expect them to fix us immediately. The doctor’s answer is usually some medication that doesn’t actually fix the problem but masks the symptoms instead. It’s a bit like covering up the oil warning light on the dashboard of your car and thinking that will fix the lack of oil. But it doesn’t, and eventually you break down when the medication no longer works.”

If any of you would like to meet Cyndi O’Meara and hear her speak on health issues, as well as see us demonstrate her recipes in a Thermomix cooking class (and enjoy eating what we cook!), she will be here on the Tablelands for our next Thermomix cooking class in August. I will be posting the time and place soon.

[Photo at top of page: Cyndi and me (with a very goofy look on my face!); Photo above: Natalie Cook (Olympic beach volleyball gold medallist) and me at the seminar – yep, that’s a real Olympic gold medal!!!]

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